Creating a Diabetic Meal Plan
Food is made up of carbohydrates (carbs), proteins and fat. When food breaks down, it turns into blood sugar. Carbs have the greatest impact on blood sugar levels. Fat and protein have little effect ect. A balance of all three nutrients is important for blood sugar control.
When food breaks down, it turns into blood sugar. If you eat too much of certain foods your blood sugar level will rise. If you eat too little, your blood sugar levels may go too low. To keep your blood sugar at a good level, it helps to:
- Eat about the same amount of food at each meal
- Eat your meals and snacks at about the same times each day
- Never skip a meal or snack
Food is made up of carbohydrates (carbs), proteins and fats. All of the carbs you eat turn to blood sugar. Some foods have more carbs per serving than others. Examples of foods that contain carbs are:
- Fruit juice
- Winter squash
Other vegetables have low amounts of carbs and are not as likely to affect blood sugar. These include:
- Turnips and turnip greens
- Green beans
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Brussel sprouts
Foods that contain sugar are also carbs such as:
You will need to be careful with the amount of carbs you eat. But, you do not have to cut them out. Your body needs them for energy.
Protein helps to keep your muscles strong and your body healthy. A little more than half of the protein you eat can turn to blood sugar. Protein is found in:
- Dried beans
Fats are higher in calories and can cause weight gain. When extra fat surrounds the stomach, insulin does not work very well. In type 2 diabetes, losing this body fat can help lower your blood sugars. Some types of fats can also increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. You should cut down on these. They include whole milk, cheese, cream, fatty meats, butter, stick margarine, baked goods and fried foods. Fat is found in:
- Fried foods
- Baked goods
- Dairy products
- Salad dressings
The best way to find out what you should eat is to meet with a dietitian. The dietitian can give you a meal plan that fits your lifestyle. If you have never met with a dietitian, ask your doctor to refer you to one. When you follow a meal plan, you can balance your carbs, protein and fat, which will help keep blood sugar levels from going too high or too low. Aim to eat foods from all the food groups, allowing you to get what you need to stay healthy.